ERIC Number: EJ1035944
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Early Childhood Malaria Prevention and Children's Patterns of School Leaving in the Gambia
Zuilkowski, Stephanie S.; Jukes, Matthew C. H.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v84 n3 p483-501 Sep 2014
Background: Early childhood malaria is often fatal, but its impact on the development and education of survivors has not received much attention. Malaria impacts cognitive development in a number of ways that may impact later educational participation. Aims: In this study, we examine the long-term educational effects of preventing early childhood malaria. Does intermittent preventive treatment (IPT) during early childhood reduce the risk of dropout? If so, does this effect vary by school type--government school versus madrassa? Sample: We use data from a 2001 follow-up of a 1985-1987 malaria prevention randomized controlled trial in the Gambia. The sample consists of 562 youth born between 1981 and 1986. Methods: We use discrete-time survival analysis to identify the impact of the intervention on dropout risk over time. Results: We find that IPT has a positive impact on dropout for government school students, but not for madrassa attendees. The difference was striking: in government schools, the odds of dropout in the treatment group were one third of those in the control group. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that preventing early childhood malaria may reduce dropout at a relatively low cost. In this intervention, the drugs cost less than one dollar per year per child. While IPT is no longer practised in many countries due to concerns over drug resistance, these results support the conclusion that any type of effective malaria control programme protecting young children, such as consistent and correct use of bed nets, could improve educational attainment in areas where malaria is prevalent.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Diseases, Young Children, Prevention, Dropouts, Public Schools, Islam, Religious Education, Comparative Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Gambia